I am very fortunate these days, none of my kids are in nappies any more (bit old now, I think my 15-year-old would complain a little if I trued putting him in one), but it isn't that long since the last one of them became an ex nappy wearer (she's not quite six). There is one thing I'd like to know though, and that is why, in the UK, male toilets provide virtually no facilities for changing babies bottoms? (I'm lead to believe it is the same the world over, but I am not well travelled enough to know personally).
I've changed way more nappies than I'd care to count (three kids produce a lot of... um... waste... and who the hell counts nappies anyway? That would be weird keeping a nappy diary), and in all the years that I was changing them ,not once was I able to enter the male toilets, lay my child on a comfortable, padded, changing table and do the old switcheroo with their stinky poop filled nappies, not once!
Don't get me wrong I'm not suggesting that it was my goal to spend that much time in men's toilets (they are not usually the pleasant, carpeted wonders of the ladies toilets, think more nicely tiled cesspit, you think one man missing a toilet causes a mess imagine hundreds of them all missing, yeah they tend to stink), but it would have been nice, just once in a while, to not have to use the disabled loo's (why are disabled toilets often also the changing room by the way? Surely they should be for the disabled?), or worse, and more often, my portable changing mat - my lap.
Expert Nappy Changer
Through the years I became quite the expert at the one handed, on lap, nappy change, I'm sure other parents will know the type, the one where you hold their legs in the air with one hand while doing all the tricky unfastening, baby wiping and re-inserting into a fresh toilet, sorry nappy, with the other.
It's probably a male thing but I do find myself proud of that one particular skill; I could whip off a nappy, clean and have a new one on before you had the chance to tell me to stop (apparently nappy changes at food tables isn't a done thing, who knew?). Unfortunately this has, of course, led to one or two accidents, usually with me covered in a rather pungent yellow bodily liquid (or much worse).
I've changed nappies on the fly in many locations, trains, cars, restaurants (sorry), but just once it would have been nice to pick up whichever child in question was ready for a refresh, stroll into the men's toilets and get to work there at a comfortable level. Always having to find someone to ask where the baby changing facilities are for anyone who is not female becomes rather annoying after the thousandth time of asking.
As we strive to reach true equality between the sexes (in my opinion it is not just about equality for women, for true equality men need to be brought up to the same level as women in the parenthood stakes) one of the last remaining hurdles for us men (along with altering the perceptions of those men who "babysit" their own kids) is the changing facility in the gent's toilets.
It wouldn't be hard to fit a fold down table in most male rest-rooms (not sure I'd want to rest in one), provide a plastic yellow bin (with those special lids) and allow men the dignity of changing their baby in their own sexes toilet.
Public convenience builders of the world it's over to you now, fix this for future fathers please!
Apparently since I wrote the draft of this, it has become big news in the USA with Ashton Kutcher climbing on the bandwagon.
Oh and I was going to include a lovely photo at the top, but as I've never seen changing facilities in the mens room I really couldn't.